Important Laws That You Need To Know Against Crime By Minors In India
A person under the age of full legal obligation and responsibility is a minor or a person who is below the legal age of eighteen years is minor.
Section 2 (12) of the Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act, 2015 gives the definition of the Child, meaning thereby that a child is a person who hasn’t completed the age of 18 i.e. he/she is below 18. The Act has given a classification regarding the term ‘Child’ namely “Child in need of care and protection” and Section 2 (13) of the Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act, 2015 that talks about “Child in conflict with law”.
There have been specifications made regarding the Juveniles who are between the age of 16-18, if any kind of crime is committed by them then after due perusal of their mental capacity, they can be tried as an adult.
Section 82 and 83 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 talks specifically about the exemption from prosecution of the Juveniles. But in the case of Heeralal V. State of Bihar, a child threatened an adult that he’ll chop him into pieces and subsequently the child stabbed a person till his death. He was sentenced by the trial court with a reasoning that the child was mature enough to understand the ramifications of his act. The Supreme Court also dismissed the petition.
Children above the age of 12 are considered capable of committing crimes, though till they reach the age of 18, they are considered juveniles under the Juvenile Justice Act 2015, which generally means that the maximum time they can be sent to prison for is 3 years. However, if they are between 16-18, and are found to be mature enough, they can be tried as adults.
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